Thursday, April 07, 2011

Archie Debuts!


Pardon me if I'm a little proprietary about this book as I've spent much of the past year working on it with Craig Yoe and his partner Clizia Guzzoni. ARCHIE: A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA'S FAVORITE TEENAGERS debuts this weekend at MOCCA and then rolls out to the general public starting on April 20th. You can order your copy now on the top right of this page.

What did I have to do with it? Well...a little bit of everything. I was one of a small group of credited assistants who did research, interviews, transcriptions, proofreading and I even wrote several portions of the book! To put it in comics art terms, sometimes I would do the layouts and Craig would then do the actual pencilling and inking. Other times, I would do the layouts and pencilling and Craig would ink the final piece. On still other occasions, I would take Craig's layouts or pencils and polish them up myself.

In the course of all this, I got to read some amazingly fun comics, many of which are reprinted in this volume (as well as Craig's upcoming follow-up, ARCHIE'S MADHOUSE) and talk with a number of Archie creators, all of whom are some of the nicest and most helpful comics pros I've ever met.

Here's IDW's press release:

IDW Publishing and its imprint, YOE Books, are proud to announce the debut of the deluxe full-color hardcover coffee table history book, ARCHIE: A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA’S FAVORITE TEENAGERS, edited and designed by Eisner award-winner Craig Yoe, at New York City’s Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art annual festival this weekend. MoCCA Fest attendees will get a first look at this impressive and lovingly crafted tome, which will be available nation wide by April 30th. ARCHIE: A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA'S FAVORITE TEENAGERS features more than 200 pages of fascinating history, exciting biographies and rare or unpublished art, all offering a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most iconic comics of all time.

“We’re excited and honored to have our history presented so expertly by Craig and our friends at IDW,” said Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. “This is the kind of book that fans everywhere will cherish for some time. It’s an essential volume for longtime and new fans of Archie and the Riverdale gang.”

Archie and his pals are some of the most beloved and enduring characters in the comics medium, and have a long history stretching back to their origins in 1941. Yoe‘s exhaustive research turned up a plethora of rare and unpublished art by Bob Montana, Dan DeCarlo, and Harry Lucey, vintage photographs, unknown ephemera, and a previously unpublished autobiography of John Goldwater, co-founder of MLJ/Archie Comics. All this rich material serves as the basis for the book, which celebrates both the characters and the immensely talented artists behind them. ARCHIE: A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA’S FAVORITE TEENAGERS also shines a spotlight on writers Frank Doyle, George Gladir, andCraig Boldman, and contemporary Archie artists Fernando Ruiz and Dan Parent, creator of the new kid in Riverdale, Kevin Keller. The beautiful 224-page, large-format volume sports a lengthy and revealing interview with Editor-in-Chief Victor Gorelick, who has worked at Archie over a half a century!

Yoe exclaims, “Working on this book was a real thrill, to find so much unpublished art by masters like DeCarlo, and Lucey, a photo of Elvis on his first tour reading a Betty and Veronica comic, John Goldwater’s unpublished autobiography, Bob Montana’s profusely illustrated high school diary, and be able to share all this with the world had my head spinning at every turn. I felt like a teenager again!”

IDW Publishing and Yoe are excited to debut ARCHIE: A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA’S FAVORITE TEENAGERS at the MoCCA Fest, held only a few short blocks from where the Archie comics were conceived. Continuing the connection between the book and the museum, ARCHIE features a full reprint of a story where the Archie Gang visits the MoCCA museum and meets Chairman Ellen Abramowitz.

Expected to be an immediate sellout after the official launch later this month, only a small number of the sought-after ARCHIE: A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA’S FAVORITE TEENAGERS will be available to MoCCA attendees. Also debuting at MoCCA Fest from IDW and YOE Books will be the sea-and-see worthy POPEYE: THE GREAT COMIC BOOK TALES BY BUD SAGENDORF.

MoCCA Fest will take place this weekend, April 9th and 10th at the Lexington Avenue Armory, at 68 Lexington Avenue in New York City. For more details, visit www.moccany.org.

ARCHIE: A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA’S FAVORITE TEENAGERS ($49.99, 224 pages, hard cover, full color) will be available in comic and books stores on April 20, 2011. ISBN 978-160010-7542.

For more information about Yoe! Books, visit www.yoebooks.com.

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